February 28, 2008

Numbers Game: Answer

A 12-ounce Cosi blueberry promeganate smoothie contains 544 calories.

(Note: a 12-ounce can of regular Coca Cola clocks in at 143 calories)

It goes to show -- high caloric values aren't just found in large portions.

(Sidenote: Get the 20-ounce "gigante", and sip away 1,087 calories!)

It's crazy to think that this 12-ounce beverage packs almost twice as many calories as a large fountain beverage from McDonald's.

Cosi advertises it as a "blend of frozen fruit with a green tea base," which helps to explain the astounding caloric value of this smoothie.

Bases are often sugar-loaded flavor agents.

They were smart in choosing a green tea one because it delivers sweet flavor while still sounding "healthy."

A lot of people have this concept that anything with green tea in it is automatically healthy or low-calorie. I'm afraid that ain't so.

Food companies know this, which is why I was not surprised to see Haagen Dazs' new green tea ice cream flavor at the store earlier this week.

The fact is, smoothies are not an optimal source of nutrition.

The overwhelming majority are excessively sugared (we're talking 6 to 8 tablespoons of sugar on average for a 12 ounce!) and don't deliver any of the fiber present in a piece of fruit.

Since liquid calories (particularly those from fruit smoothies, which are lacking fat, fiber, and protein) are not as effective at providing a sense of fullness, it's very likely you will be hungry soon after finishing such a concoction.

If they are one of your favorite beverages, feel free to have them, but keep in mind that save one or two exceptions, you are buying an overly sweetened, high-calorie treat, not liquid nutrition.

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